On Character Motivation
"You seem trustworthy. Would you care to join us in our noble quest?" --The Gamers
Unlike in our previous game, we will not be providing characters with the reason why they have to stay with the party. (No Kaufman degeneration, no Azure Bands, etc.) Players are expected to design characters that will be amenable to being in the party, having adventures, and eventually, saving the world. The initial mission will likely involve a representative of the Butterfly Court gathering loyalists and other useful looking people and sending them on a mission of national concern. The local circus Silken Wings will be asked to provide said people with a cover and help out where they can.
Starting in one of these two groups is recommended. You may also wish to be visiting the kingdom and hiring yourself out for some mercenary-like business, but you should be loyal to those you work with. Most anything is fine, as long as when the plot comes along and says, "Would you like to join the party?" you have a reason to say "Yes."
On Character Secrets
It's the GMs' opinion that the whole point of having a secret in this type of RPG is to have an interesting reveal later on. If you decide there's something you want to keep secret from the other characters, you should also be thinking about when and how you are going to have it revealed, and not wait long enough that people get annoyed. Finding out secrets is fun, and therefore there are reasons to not tell everyone everything up front, but feeling like you are missing something, or things are being kept from you, can be frustrating enough to disrupt that fun if the reveal is overly delayed.